Harsher punishments for violence against health workers, women

Harsher punishments for violence against health workers, women

Harsher punishments for violence against health workers, women

Officials are putting the final touches on a draft bill that seeks harsher punishments for those who commit violence against health care workers and women.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca recently briefed members of the parliament’s justice commission on the planned legislation.

According to the draft bill, violence against health care workers will be classified as a catalog crime, thus those perpetrators will be subject to pre-trial detention.

The legislation, which is expected to be submitted to the parliament shortly, also regulates lawsuits to be filed against doctors for compensation.

A panel will be set up at the Health Ministry, which will look into the compensation claims to determine whether the doctor should be held responsible.

According to the draft, violence against women will also be classified as a catalog crime. Inflicting injury or femicide will be considered a major offense.

Perpetrators will not be able to benefit from a reduction in sentence due to what is known as good conduct time. This will apply not only to perpetrators of violence against women but also to those committing other crimes.

Under the new draft, stalking will be considered, for the first time, a crime.

Moreover, as part of the efforts to fight violence against women in more effective ways, the sentence for voluntary manslaughter will be increased from life imprisonment to aggravated life imprisonment, while the minimum sentence for intentional injury offense will be increased from four to six months.

Meanwhile, a report prepared by a parliamentary commission that contains 42 findings and 547 recommendations on the prevention of violence against women has been presented to Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop.

The 916-page report includes the finding that contentious divorce cases take quite a long time and that this controversial process increases the possible risks of violence.

The report also recommended the establishment of a separate hotline providing service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The study also includes suggestions to include content on the negative effects of early and forced marriages in educational activities and to ensure that religious officials play an active role in combating violence.

It also includes recommendations to ensure the lighting and security of places such as neighborhoods, streets, parks and open sports fields, and to arrange measures to ensure safe transportation of women, especially after evening hours.

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